How to buy the best double pushchair
Double pushchairs come in a bewildering array of shapes and sizes.
The best double pushchairs are easy to use, manoeuvrable and comfortable for you and your child.
We've outlined some of the key features you'd expect to find on a double pushchair, from brands such as Bugaboo, Britax, iCandy and Phil and Teds, as well as helping you avoid some of the things that will make your double travel system or buggy a pig rather than pleasure to push and use day to day.
We'd also recommend that you always go and try out your shortlist of double pushchairs in store before making a purchase.
How much should I pay for a double pushchair?
A simple side-by-side buggy can cost as little as around £120, but prices quickly climb to an eye-watering £1,000 plus for a premium convertible travel system. We've found Best Buys from around £250.
These doubles have a front seat and a back seat and are also known as inline doubles. They can be basic umbrella-fold buggies or travel systems, although not all will fit two car seats and some only have one suitable-from-birth seat, so aren’t suitable for two newborns. They can be as narrow as a single buggy, although are likely to be a little longer and often much heavier.
Pros: Similar width to a single so can be negotiated through narrow spaces, your sleeping baby should remain undisturbed by the older child
Cons: One child will usually have a restricted view, can be heavy and hard to manoeuvre, you often won’t have much storage space
Double or twin pushchairs
These are also known as side-by-side pushchairs and are the most traditional type of double pushchair. A very basic model will offer front-facing seats only. The seats may recline independently of each other. However, if you need a twin pushchair for your newborns, you can get twin travel systems with car seat and carrycot options.
Examples of this type of pushchair are the , the and . Look for one that isn’t so wide that it won't fit through any doorways (although you will struggle with some narrow doors), yet also has roomy enough seats for your growing children.
Pros: Both children have the same view and can interact with each other, you should get plenty of storage space in the shopping baskets
Cons: Are usually quite wide as they have to accommodate two seats side by side, not really an option on public transport, not very versatile if you sometimes only need to transport one child
Convertible double pushchairs
Until recently, all convertible pushchairs were a form of inline or tandem pushchair. Phil and Teds was one of the first brands to offer this, but there are now lots of options on the market from big brands such as iCandy and Stokke. Most also have the option to attach carrycots and car seats.
Convertible double buggies are a great option if you think you're likely to have two children close in age. Many of the newer ones on the market work very well as singles and only need adaptor sets adding to make them suitable for a newborn and older child. They'll generally still be a bit heavier and bigger when used as a single pram than some of our Best Buy single travel systems.
Pros: Can be swapped from single to double and back again
Cons: When used as a single they aren’t generally aren’t as light and manoeuvrable as a non-converting option, you often lose your storage space/basket with the addition of the second seat, a converting tandem means one child has a restricted view and possibly a smaller, more basic seat
Do you need a double buggy?
If you're having twins the answer is probably yes.
Otherwise a lot is going to depend on the age gap between your children as well as your lifestyle. So before you rush out to buy the latest Phil and Teds or iCandy double, have a think about the following:
- How old will your eldest child be when the new baby arrives? You may find their willingness and ability to walk short distances improves. Some toddlers refuse to travel in buggies anyway.
- How much walking do you do with your children? If it’s a fair distance to your older child’s nursery or you regularly go on long walks, you may find a double pram or alternative mode of getting your children there quickly invaluable.
- Do you use public transport regularly? Most double buggies are beasts to use on buses and trains.
- Can you fit a double into your home? Whether a tandem or twin side-by-side, a double pushchair will probably take up more room than a single. They're often heavy, too, so if you live in a flat and have to take your pushchair upstairs, you’ll need to consider this.
In our 2020 survey of 1,560 parents, 42% of parents bought a tandem and 42% went for a twin. A convertible was less popular, with 16% of parents opting for one.
Double buggy problems to look out for
Other parents' experiences can be invaluable in helping you make the right decision. Which? asked hundreds of parents who had bought double pushchairs what problems they experienced when making their choice. Here's what they said:
1. Doubles are too expensive - Double prams, especially travel systems that you can attach a car seat or carrycot to, and convertible double buggies, can be quite pricey. But we've found some of the .
2. Double pushchairs are too big - There's no denying that doubles do tend to be bigger than single pushchairs. However single-to-double convertible pushchairs aren't always that much bigger than singles, especially in width. We'd always suggest making sure you can fit the pushchair in your car boot before making a decision to buy it.
3. Not enough storage space as a double pram - With a lot of inline or tandem convertible doubles, when you add the second seat it means that the second's child's feet end up in what was the storage basket. This means that storage options become almost non-existent as a double. However, this isn't the case for all doubles - some tandems are designed to keep at least some of your shopping space, and side-by-side or twin pushchairs should offer you ample storage opportunities. The amount and accessibility of storage on a pushchair makes up 10% of our total test score. Find out more about .
4. Too heavy - Lots of doubles are quite heavy as the chassis often needs to be more robust with an inline tandem to give it the necessary stability. But there are lighter options available. Side-by-side or twin doubles tend to be not be as heavy, particularly if they are basic umbrella-fold buggies.
5. Not enough choice - Buying a double pushchair can be a daunting prospect, but there are lots more on the market now than a few years ago. Some of the most popular brands now offer a double pushchair option as part of their range including iCandy, Phil and Teds and Baby Jogger.
Is a baby carrier or sling a good alternative?
A single pushchair and baby carrier or sling that can be used for a newborn is a good way of getting away without the cost of a double buggy.
We’ve reviewed baby carriers and slings that can be used from when your baby is born through to the toddler years.
Our tests are based on the things that parents have told us are the most important to consider when buying a baby carrier, such as child and parent comfort along with the ease of getting your baby in and out.
Find out more about the benefits of a baby carrier in our guide to choosing a baby sling or carrier.
However, a baby carrier and pushchair combination won’t work for everyone. In the early weeks after a caesarean section, for example, it’s likely you’ll be advised not to use a baby carrier or sling (but you may be told not to push a pushchair, too).
If you walk long distances you may find the combined effort of pushing a heavy toddler while carrying your baby pretty tiring.
Buggyboard, ride-on board or stroller platforms
Most parents know them as buggyboards but this is down to the popularity of a product made by Lascal – the BuggyBoard. They're also called ride-on platforms and wheeled boards. Pushchair manufacturers, such as Bugaboo and Stokke, make their own branded versions, but there are several universal ones out there, too.
These connect to the back of your pushchair frame to create a standing platform for your older child to stand on while holding the pushchair’s handles. They can often be folded away or removed when not in use.
You can also buy products like the Mountain Buggy Freerider, which is a scooter that can be attached to the buggy’s frame when your toddler gets tired, or you need to keep them close by.
Some parents swear by the convenience of a ride-on platform but they aren’t the perfect solution for everyone. If your toddler doesn’t want to comply and ride on the board, there’s nothing but your powers of negotiation to persuade them to get on and stay on.
They can be awkward or uncomfortable to walk behind, especially for long periods. In order to accommodate your toddler, you have to walk further back from the pram's handlebar than you naturally would.